Boeing readies aircraft to fly 100% on sustainable fuel

Aviation produces about 2.4% of all carbon emissions globally each year

Boeing set a goal of making all of its aircrafts capable of flying on 100% sustainable aviation fuels by 2030, the company announced Friday.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal said that "sustainable aviation fuels are the safest and most measurable solution to reduce aviation carbon emissions in the coming decades."

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"We're committed to working with regulators, engine companies and other key stakeholders to ensure our airplanes and eventually our industry can fly entirely on sustainable jet fuels," Deal said Friday.

Aviation produced 2.4% of all carbon emissions worldwide in 2018, and those emissions could triple by 2050 given the projected growth of air travel, according to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.

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"Using sustainable biofuels blended with kerosene jet fuel, a mixture which is beginning to enter the commercial aviation market, is one potential mitigation strategy," EESI writes.

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One of the biggest challenges in transitioning to sustainable fuels is that they are more expensive than conventional jet fuel, but that cost could come down with research and development, according to a Department of Energy report last year.

Boeing joined the Sustainable Aviation Fuel User Group in 2008, which aims to accelerate the use of sustainable fuels by the airline industry.

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Sustainable aviation fuels are currently mixed with regular jet fuel to create a 50/50 blend, but Boeing says airplanes need to fly on 100% sustainable aviation fuels.

"Sustainable aviation fuels are proven, used every day, and have the most immediate and greatest potential to reduce carbon emissions in the near and long term when we work together as an industry," Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond said Friday.